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02 March 2010

is it just me, or is Tom Wolfe kind of wordy? [More:]
I lovelovelove all things aviation and space related, and so I picked up mr lfr's copy of "The Right Stuff" recently. I'm finding it very...heavy...going.

I absolutely TORE my way through his copy of "Riding Rockets" by Mike Mullane (who's no professional authour by any stretch).

Am I just lazy, or is Tom Wolfe kinda hard to assimilate? He seems sort of wordy and/or hung up on his own writing style in some way I'm having a difficult time articulating.

I'm no stranger to heavy intellectual reads and have done my share of wading through literary stuff. Maybe I'm just getting old and impatient with writing styles that strike me as somewhat pretentious.

A lot of what he wrote was new when said it and now has become ordinary as it got assimilated by the culture. He was always pretentious, though, but you forgave him because he was original. Now the world has moved past him and he's ordinary.
posted by Obscure Reference 02 March | 16:00
Thinking about the Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flack Catchers (the only Wolfe I have read) makes me think that Maureen Dowd pretty much lifted her modus operandi of high-browed derision in one snarky piece.

Wolfe is overly precious.
posted by danf 02 March | 16:15
My brother recently decided he liked Tom Wolfe and started reading one of his books. (Bonfire? Can't remember.) He was irked by the time he finished it because the word 'gloaming' appeared, like, 5 times in a single chapter, and then a bunch of other times throughout the book. After he finished that one, he started another Wolfe book. He came across 'gloaming' on page three and never picked the book up again.

posted by mudpuppie 02 March | 17:21

A great word, if you use it like once every 6 months or so.

posted by danf 02 March | 18:23

Wolfe is overly precious.

thanks danf, that's almost exactly what I was thinking but I was hoping maybe my irritation with his style was simply a function of my rather internet-afflicted attention span.

it's really only mildly irritating tho, so I'll soldier on, mainly because I really enjoy the subject matter. I only wish the writer didn't sound so condescending to his characters :P

back when I was 23, I threw a copy of "Atlas Shrugged" across the room for similar reasons. Rand is far more obnoxious though
posted by lonefrontranger 02 March | 20:20
Today is Tom Wolfe's birthday! Happy 79th Tom Wolfe!

And you pick today to criticize his writing? Happy birthday, indeed.

On another note, it turns out "gloaming" is synonymous with twilight. I say we refer to the sparkly vampire series as the "Gloaming" series from now on. Seems to fit better.
posted by jabberjaw 02 March | 21:18
I'm with Team Irving
posted by rollick 02 March | 21:54
From Bauhaus To Our House was a formative book for me, except it made me like modernist architecture more, not less, which I think was against Wolfe's intent. (It did give me a healthy respect for Frank Lloyd Wright, though- much like music, I just never saw the various schools of thought in architecture as either/or relationships.)
posted by BoringPostcards 02 March | 22:38
It is a bird? Is it a plane? No, || Create your own solar system.